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Healthcare Industry Reeling From California Budget Stalemate

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Some hospitals, clinics and nursing homes are not likely to receive millions in reimbursements from the state this week because of the budget stalemate. From Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

The State Department of Healthcare Services says it won't be able to make $227 million in payments to some MediCal providers this week -- unless a budget is passed almost immediately.

Jan Emerson, with the California Hospital Association , says some of her members are worried about paying doctors and nurses -- and continuing to buy supplies. 

Emerson : For example, their supply of pharmaceuticals -- maybe they're going to run out of pharmaceuticals, and that wouldn't affect just a MediCal patient -- that could affect any patient.

The institutions impacted include those which provide care for Californians enrolled in MediCal, the state's low-income healthcare program.   The state had a contingency fund that made payments throughout the month of July, but that has now run out. Some other providers -- including pharmacies -- will continue to receive payment, regardless of the budget situation.

Lawmakers continue to meet to try to work out a budget. A spending plan is now a month overdue.

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